The Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Market Will Experience Modest Growth as Sales Increase from $11.1 Billion in 2011 to $15.2 Billion in 2021

The Rheumatoid Arthritis Drug Market Will Experience Modest Growth as Sales Increase from $11.1 Billion in 2011 to $15.2 Billion in 2021

Decision Resources

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Decision Resources, one of the world’s leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the rheumatoid arthritis drug market will experience modest growth over the next decade as sales increase from $11.1 billion in 2011 to $15.2 billion in 2021 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom and Japan.

The Pharmacor advisory service entitled also finds that insight from interviewed experts and the continued dominance of the TNF-alpha inhibitors clearly indicate that rheumatologists are relatively satisfied with the efficacy of TNF-alpha inhibitors and clinicians place great importance on positive long-term safety and physician familiarity. To be considered for the same line of therapy as the TNF-alpha inhibitors, new rheumatoid arthritis agents must show compelling advantages on price, be at least as effective as the TNF-alpha inhibitors and have no major safety problems. TNF-alpha inhibitors continue to dominate as first-line biological agents, accounting for nearly three-quarters of major-market sales. As the number of effective alternative biologics increases, the market share for TNF-alpha inhibitors will decrease substantially by 2021.

The findings also reveal that emerging oral agents have the potential to alter the rheumatoid arthritis treatment algorithm. Pfizer/Takeda Pharmaceutical’s oral Jak inhibitor tofacitinib will likely be used after the TNF-alpha inhibitors initially, competing with abatacept (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Ono Pharmaceutical’s Orencia), rituximab (Biogen Idec/Roche/Chugai/Zenyaku Kogyo’s Rituxan, Roche’s MabThera) and tocilizumab (Roche/Chugai’s Actemra/RoActemra), until it has built up an acceptable postmarketing safety profile, most likely after two to three years on the market.

“After this point, and assuming the drug shows physicians are convinced that it has meaningful efficacy in slowing or inhibiting structural damage, tofacitinib, together with AstraZeneca’s Syk inhibitor fostamatinib disodium, will increasingly divert a minority of patients from TNF-alpha inhibitor therapy,” said Decision Resources Analyst Iva Holder, Ph.D. “We expect tofacitinib to have a stronger market impact through 2021 than fostamatinib disodium, which has shown efficacy so far only in biologic-naive patients and launches two years later.”

Tocilizumab has experienced strong uptake in rheumatoid arthritis since its launch in 2008 in Japan, 2009 in Europe and 2010 in the United States. Its sales in 2011 topped $500 million in the G7 and were close to those of rituximab. Decision Resources expects tocilizumab will emerge as the preferred biologic for TNF-refractory patients over the next several years and will earn blockbuster sales beginning in 2014.

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